on the count of six(teen) – a poem

remember that one time when i wrote about my sixteenth suicide attempt?

i’m still not coping with it very well, so i wrote a poem about it. it was a pretty serious attempt, landing me in icu after all. and i’m trying so fucking hard to fight against my head but sometimes it just gets so loud and the thoughts will only stop once i act on them.

pretty heavy trigger warning on this one guys. i would say ‘enjoy’ but it’s probably not the kind of poem you would enjoy. i hope it helps you heal as writing it helped me heal


with a backing track

of panic attacks,

the most pitiful playlist,

i swallow supposed death,

washed back with a bottle of vodka.

i fall asleep to serenading

waves on the beach;

dying feels like going home.

strangely, beneath the stars

i feel less alone

even though they represent

only myths, i suppose.

then waking in intensive care

waking into horror

writhing in restraints

while watched by two cops

ready with their handcuffs

ready for when i run

with my rights stripped away.

every time i wake i see her face.

i wish i were a shooting star not

starfished at the ankles and wrists

spread apart to remind me of

the men who spread my legs

then left me with the mess.

soon startled into being

at the hiss of velcro loosening

i throw my fist toward my face

before my veins are flooded

with syringed sleep

with a shot of compliance.

the next time i wake

there are three cops

no, four

watching closely on the tips

of their regulation boots,

on the edge of their seats.

it will take five sets of hands

to hold me down this time.

they say i am hurting them

but surely i am hurting more

since i keep finding myself waking

into the same

fucking nightmare.

“you’re too unstable”

someone in my professional supports finally had the balls to say what i’ve been waiting to hear: you are too unstable to be treated in the community. you need to be in hospital.

lol, okay.

but this is what i wanted right? this is what i’ve been waiting for someone, anyone to recognise. it’s taken sixteen suicide attempts for someone to finally fucking saying it.

“if you’ve spent 5 out of 7 days of the week in hospital – you shouldn’t be leaving the hospital”

and i don’t know how i feel about that. i’ve been saying for a long time that i’m sick of the constant emergency-discharge-emergency-overnightadmission-discharge-emergency cycle.

but

i still

don’t know

how i feel

about finally hearing what i’ve wanted to hear. it’s weird.


in my last post i said i was going to wait a little bit before bringing before the blogosphere the trials and tribulations of my latest crisis. it’s not very pretty. trigger warning. like, seriously, stop reading here if you find explicit mentions of self harm, suicide, hospital or police triggering.

so i can’t remember much of what happened. i mean, i can’t remember much most days anyway, which my psychiatrist thinks will improve when i start stimulants, since i show other signs of adhd and the one time i did try stimulants (as every uni student does), i couldn’t understand how other people were getting high. i had never felt more normal in my life. so yeah, i can’t remember much. it’s all snippets, chip chop all over the shop. chunks show up here and there. in between i know that things happened but i don’t know what. i don’t know if i blacked out or if i was asleep or if i was dissociating or if i just cut it from my mind. it could be any of those options.

i took a second insane overdose of a medication i will not name here. it didn’t land me in icu this time (because i didn’t tell them i took anything at the time whoops), but it did land me in restraints, again. so yeah, i had four (five? six?) police officers holding me down, one on each limb and one over my face cupping my neck because i bang my head when i’m distressed and they really don’t like when i do that it turns out. my friend C (she’s a legend. she agreed to be my emergency contact since i have such a weird and gross relationship with my parents) read to the bible from me as i tried to calm down and it really worked. god is good. but i still got sedated, cause i dunno, they know i have a history of running and shit? i wasn’t even trying to leave. like yeah, i was hurting myself, but i wasn’t not cooperating. whatever. it seems to be the new normal now. attempt suicide / self harm, police are called, police schedule me, police restrain and/or handcuff me, ambos arrive, ambos restrain and/or sedate me, ambos take me to hospital, hospital takes care of any physical damage and/or restrains and/or sedates me, i chat very briefly to someone about the mental damage, schedule is lifted, i am discharged from hospital.

repeat.

this was the first time i properly slit my wrists with the intention of killing myself – i have never self harmed and wanted to die before, because i study anatomy (ironic hey) and i know how deep you have to go to hit something important. but this time, for the second time, i did hit something important. and this time, for the first time, it was on purpose.

wow. i do not recommend. i mean, wow. there was a literal spray of blood.

so. much. fucking. blood.

you know when you have a leak in a hose? a small leak, the size of a pin, but the hose is under such high pressure that heaps of water comes bursting out? it was like that.

and fucking hell, can i not wait to it again.


rosie bogs loves her blog

peace out

number 16

i survived suicide attempt 16 a few days ago. it was an almost lethal one apparently.

i was in icu for about 48 hours. had a seizure or two. was restrained multiple times – by the police, in handcuffs, in the ambulance, by six doctors and nurses, in a four point fabric one at my wrists and ankles to the side of the bed. honestly, i would rather be restrained than get sedated. droperidol is a fucking nightmare. it knocks me out for a while and hangs around in the system for a day or so too.

i still have some drugs left. not much. but some. i checked against the lethal blood concentration (like, the mg/L dose) and if i calculated it correctly this will be 300x as much. still not convinced i did calculate it correctly cause that seems like a massive difference.

but that’s good.

i need to go.

so tonight i am trying again. using a combination of a few things + alcohol (gotta get that central nervous system depression) and i will probably self harm for good measure. i hit a superficial artery by accident once so i know where to aim. i can see the wonky scar because it was a tricky place to suture. a few parallel cuts along that and i should be fine. i hope no one finds me. i have no commitments until monday when i am meant to see my doctor and then wednesday when i am supposed to see my psychiatrist. i have no work commitments until next weekend because for some reason, despite all the covid stuff and schools closed, nobody wants tutoring right now, which makes me feel pretty useless. so my next shift at the pharmacy (lol, i find it super ironic i work at a pharmacy actually) isn’t until next weekend, which is plenty of time, if for some reason this attempt is unsuccessful AGAIN and i get the mandatory 3 day invol stay.

they didn’t admit me to psych this time which was kinda weird, considering how lethal everybody was telling me the overdose was.

lol.

okay, bye.

for real this time.

if for some reason i survive tonight, i’ll try and update as soon as i can. some of you guys have been awesome supports for me. thanks for everything.

sketches from the psychiatric word

disclaimer: this is a repost, from when i first became blogger in chief

i’m struggling to articulate the mess of my loud thoughts at the moment so i have decided to return to my most popular post of all time, sketches from the psychiatric ward. as you’ll read, this was the first time i had picked up a pencil for many years, and since then i have been doing more and more art. would you be interested in seeing more? leave me a comment below. so here they are, the first ever set of sketches i did to cope with my first ever stint on the psych ward.

they’re strangely aesthetically pleasing.


in 2017, i was admitted to three separate psych wards, for a total of six weeks. it might not seem like a lot, and sure i had 46 weeks of non-psych ward living, but these were my first three trips to the emergency (ever), and first three admissions to hospital for any reason. in my hometown back in regional western australia, it is much more difficult to seek help for depression, never mind bpd. if i had gone to my local emergency department before leaving geraldton, it is likely i would have been turned away, told to stop attention-seeking, or sent five hours away by ambulance to the nearest psychiatric facility in Perth.

IMG_2339

which is sad, because the psych ward is not what i had expected. And not what most people would expect, i imagine.

let’s talk about that third and final admission for the year. i was discharged exactly one month prior to writing this. i was suicidal, and this time i was going to do it. fortunately, i was already at the hospital for an eating disorder assessment, and was admitted from there, which made things simpler, and far less anxiety provoking.

being admitted involved a lot of tears, emotional exhaustion, silence, withdrawal, scratching (a form of self harm), anxiety, screaming (not from me), locked bathrooms (because of the bulimia), quiet conversations in side rooms, and meetings with various doctors, nurses, psychologists and occupational therapists. it wasn’t much fun, and hospital is certainly not a place I ever want to be, but it kept me safe. (and since then, further admissions have continued to keep me safe, as shitty as it is to have my rights removed as an involuntary patient, i can mostly see the benefits of hospital retrospectively). i gained a lot of insight into how my depression, borderline personality, self-harm, and eating disorder function and protect me.

the psych ward also involves a lot of dissociation, board games, card games, drinking tea, sharing with other patients, making good friends with other patients, watching television, doing sudokus and crosswards, and drawing.

drawing is my lifesaver. i hadn’t picked up a pencil or a canvas since year 10 of high school, because i channelled all my energy into the single most powerful distraction in my life – study (and i still rely on this distraction today). but now that i’ve picked up my pencils again, i can’t put them down.

these drawings are raw, they are real, and they illustrate my mind in it’s most distressed state. behold, sketches from a psychiatric ward.

they’re strangely aesthetically pleasing.


your primary herder of cats and struggling artist,

rosie bogs

Cuffed, battered, and bruised.

As with the other times I have been forcibly restrained, being handcuffed and held down by four (five? six?) police officers against my will was not a pleasant experience.

My hair is (still) full of leaves. My mind is full of trauma. Not only is my body a patchwork of pink and silver scars, but now purple and green and brown patches mar its surface too. There are rings on my wrists from fighting against handcuffs, before they were replaced with softer restraints in the ambulance. My eye is black from punching myself repeatedly in the face before the police held my arms by my sides. My elbows, sides and thighs all ache from attempts to wriggle free. My throat is hoarse from screaming at them to stop, to let go, to just let me die.

They didn’t let up, not until I was “more compliant” after being sedated.

On a somewhat lighter note, the police thought I was very strong, which apparently I was supposed to take as a compliment even while their palms pushed at my body and hands held down my head. I could hear them joking about it. It didn’t feel good to be laughed at, laughed about, while my rights were violated at the same time.

The next thing I remember is waking up on Monday morning, hungover, and drowsy from the remnants of sedative coursing through my circulation. I remember ambulance officers, but I don’t remember getting in the ambulance. I remember being restrained, but I don’t remember those restraints being taken off. I remember talking to the mental health team, but not what I said.

What I do remember, very clearly, is the anguish of being restrained once again.

Just another traumatic chapter added to my life story.

High Lethality

I think I was a cat in a past life. As of Monday, I survived my eighth suicide attempt. I only have one life left then, I suppose.

One of my obsessive anxious behaviours is that I cannot stand people knowing things about me that I don’t know myself, so I always, always, read my discharge summaries, referrals, notes… you get the idea. Which is how I found out that my liver is on the verge of death, after taking a high lethality overdose.

Still wasn’t lethal though, was it?

Still useless at killing myself, aren’t I?

Still worthless, failing at even the simplest tasks – like killing myself.

Things aren’t even bad right now. Mood is okay. Life is stable. Uni is great.

Thoughts are loud.

I’ve been working a lot on my poetry lately, and my book, so I haven’t really been writing much here. I’m still chugging along, desperately clinging to the bits of life I actually enjoy and self-destructively destroying everything else that doesn’t serve me well.

That’s the best I can do right now.

Justice Seeking

Does it ever achieve anything, really?

Will filing a complaint, spending so much time regurgitating the last few months that I rely on my journal to remember, since I dissociate so much, actually change anything for anyone?

It certainly won’t change what’s happened to me. It certainly won’t change the string of emergency department presentations and immediate discharge that have occurred over the past two months. People say that when you feel suicidal, you go to the hospital.

They never told me the hospital wouldn’t help.

In the past two weeks, I have attempted suicide three times, presented to hospital five times, and been admitted only once. Even after absconding from police schedule, I was discharged a few hours later. Even after being stitched up, and confessing I probably would do it again, and I probably wasn’t safe by myself, I was discharged again. Again and again and again I am seeking help, the most proactive and the most compliant I have ever been, and still that help is denied to me?

Does that shock you? It shocks me, as the person saying they were unsafe. It shocks my friends, as the people who take me to hospital, and as the people concerned when I am discharged repeatedly, and proceed to hurt myself some more, repeatedly.

Something is failing here.

It could be the three letters that emblazon my file, those three unfortunately stigmatised letters: bee pee dee. I wonder, without that diagnosis, would the same thing have occurred. If it was depression, and only depression, driving my suicidal acts, would that change things? Are clinicians really so misunderstanding of Borderlines? Still?

I am not seeking attention. I am seeking help. I am asking for a safe space, when I can’t find one anywhere else. I am asking for a safe place because I make every other place dangerous. Because my head is trying to kill me.

I’m seeking justice not for me, but for the people like me: the person who is discharged proceeds to kill themselves successfully, because they’ve been given another opportunity. There is the very, very real possibility that I could have been that person. Somehow, that just doesn’t seem to stick with those charged with keeping me safe.

an update + a song for steff

a few of the regular readers of my blog (you know who you are, though I’m going to call you out anyway – much love to you S, A and Caity May) wanted me to check back in here.

last week, i survived my fifth suicide attempt.

i also survived my 72 hour hold in an unfamiliar hospital in the middle of fucking nowhere, because there were no beds available at the hospital that is actually in my health district. somehow, i also survived the ANGER that kept trying to trap me. the spite that was driving me to self harm. the hatred that was driving my sarcasm and lashing out at people who didn’t deserve it.

i also wrote a song while i was in hospital – my first song!

i can’t really sing, but I’ll post the lyrics here… the beat is super weird by the way, so maybe just read it like a poem with an overarching chorus?

i was high when i wrote this (another first, maybe needing another post – turns out smuggling in contraband to a mental health unit is pretty easy, according to the person i got high with). don’t worry; i edited it while i was sober.

this song is for steff, who doesn’t read this blog, and will probably never have these words sung to her. but, just as poetry is cathartic, it was a big relief to finally say what i wanted to say… unlike her, i guess… you’ll see.


I miss stroking your shaven head.

And tattoos that distract in bed.

Perfume that smells like loving me

But eyes that say we’ll never be.

Your sm-ile said you wanted to be here

But beneath that grin I sensed your fear.

I just don’t know how I’m s’posed to feel,

while my thoughts are with you still.

I’m des-pe-rate darl to hold you once more,

But flirting with you only makes me a whore.

Cause you / have / a girlfriend.

Yeah you / have / commitments.

I see you in all the windows,

While I’m tryna let go.

Whatever you feed, that shit grows

So tell me, hun, what will you sow?

Why don’t we talk this friendship through?

Maybe over a beer or two

As I slowly learn to stop loving you.

I just don’t know what I’m s’posed to do,

now I don’t spend time with you.

I’m des-per-ate darl to hold you once more,

But flirting with you only makes me a whore.

Cause you / have / a girlfriend.

Yeah, you / have / commitments.

Why’d you mess with my head to waste some time?

Instead of growing yourself a fucking spine.

To say all those things you were wanting to say.

I guess it shouldn’t matter anyway.

I don’t even know who I’m s’posed to be,

Now you’re parting ways with me.

I’m so damn desp ’rate to love you some more,

I’ve stopped caring if that makes me a whore.

But what / of / your girlfriend.

And all / those / commitments.

Well good thing I’m persistent.

suicide glow up

Turns out I look my most radiant after two suicide attempts in two weeks.

Whoops.

My existential crises continue to pile on top of one another and still, still, my eating disorder is somehow not a valid thing to kill myself over?

What about when I sob into the carpet over the calories in the two carrots I ate today? What about when I force the hunger out of my body with more and more exercise, until I am beyond empty, and so tired that I stop feeling it? What about the low blood pressure that gets ruled off as inconsequential, and the sudden arrhythmias that strike at my most stressed, but don’t dissipate for days? What about the scars on my body, traversing my forearms and thighs and calves, scars that say I deserve to be punished. I must do better? What about when I would literally rather die than exist?

I can’t exist in this body. I can’t exist in this fleshy form that takes up too much space. I can’t exist alongside Ana anymore – I’ve given up fighting. I tried drowning her out with cough syrup (much, much more cough syrup) and a shit ton of alcohol and the best thing to come out of it is that it made me throw up a lot. Which is nice as a bulimic with an intolerable gag reflex ordinarily unable to purge.

(Yes, I’m still bulimic. No, I do not vomit. Yes, there is more than one way to have an eating disorder. No, I will not be taking questions… but, yes, I have written about that elsewhere on the blog.)

I’m so done with this. I don’t want to be here anymore. My exams in anatomy and neurophysiology (two subjects I adore) are next week and I feel about as prepared as a teabag thrown in cold water still expected to brew a strong cuppa. Not much, in other words.

I’m so done with being eloquent. I’m saving it for my book. Which, UPDATE, I have completed the first draft of and sent off to a bunch of niche Australian publishers in the hope someone picks it up. Would anyone appreciate a sneak peek?

Whatever, I’m out of words. Seeya never.

Detained.

I don’t recommend drinking cough syrup with suicidal intent. Not because it tastes bad, but because respiratory depression is a rarer side effect than they make out.

Things have been hard again lately. For the first time maybe ever, I thought I might actually been happy – that’s why the blog posts dropped off for a bit there: things were going quite well for me.

But then Ana got loud again. So loud in fact, that I was coerced into suicide attempt number three, which I (obviously) survived. The trigger? I ate some chips, and I’m not allowed to do that, so I had to be punished for breaking the rules, and Ana decided that enough is enough, fat stupid bitch, time to be punished for good. So off we went to the pharmacy, a lie slipping slyly from my lips that my housemate had requested I buy her cough syrup containing a codeine-derivative for her persistent dry cough which she has had for many weeks. Lol, no. I downed it all along with a few beers.

I found myself in the emergency department once again. This time, my therapist had called, and sensing something was off, told me I could either walk the short distance from my university campus to the local hospital, or the police could find me and drag me there. I choose the former: I will never forget the utter violation of being restrained. The chorus I repeated over and over fell on ears that refused to listen: I’d like to leave please. (While Ana whispers, yes, so we can try again, and better. Let’s go home to do it again, and better, because you deserve to be dead). Suffice to say, they were practically the only five words I uttered to the emergency psychiatric team who first interviewed me. Apparently, that was enough for me to be scheduled for admission, and detained involuntarily.

What a fucking mess I’ve made.

Considering my determination to self-harm in this small emergency psychiatric unit, I’m surprised I wasn’t sent somewhere worse, or at the very least subject to seclusion briefly. Three times I reopened recently sutured self-harm wounds with a plastic knife. Countless times I threw my body against the wall, in an attempt to relieve some of the pain generated by the thoughts in my head. I wanted to turn my head into a watermelon – the smashed kind, where grey and white matter dribbled down the sterile walls like the fruit dropped on the floor.

I’ve been released now – not discharged, released. I don’t know what I’m supposed to think or feel or do. Am I supposed to be sad? Or is it the opposite – am I meant to be glad that I woke to face another day?

This admission, I learned that when involuntarily detained, the doctor still retains the right to speak to my parents, even though I always always specifically nominate they be excluded from my care. After all, they do live on the opposite side of the country. And, after all, BPD doesn’t exist to them. I guess them finding out I still struggle is a good enough reason to stay out of hospital from now on – or at least, if there is a next time, which there no doubt will be, I need to lie my way to a voluntary admission.

I’m clutching on tight to my laptop, a good book, and two journals as I attempt to return to my mockery of a life. Three weeks until exams. Three weeks until I can try again.